Road to success

It is a rare roadworks project that improves vehicle circulation, generates private revenues, and provides environmentally friendly solutions. But these are the accomplishments achieved by the team that successfully completed the Southern Distributor Road (SDR) project in Newport, South Wales (United Kingdom), a US\$99 million project implemented through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), a project delivered three months early and realized using recycled materials that reduced the project's cost by US$7.2 million. This article examines the effort behind completing this project. It explains the benefits of using the PFI approach to finance the effort and the approach for designing and building a roadway that reduce the project's costs and increased its environmental sustainability performance, a factor which enabled the project team to wind a 2004 Green Apple Award for Environmental Excellence in Construction. It also describes some of the project's key features, such as a 187-meter bowstring arch bridge. Accompanying this article is a sidebar discussing the redevelopment activity that is now occurring--because of the SDR project--in Newport, a once bustling industrial city that for the latter half of the twentieth century struggled with significant urban decay resulting from civic neglect and population and job loss.
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